Introduction: Best, Easiest, and Cheapest No Weld Drift Trike

Picture of Best, Easiest, and Cheapest No Weld Drift Trike

If you haven't heard of a Drift Trike before Drift Trikes are tricycles that have slick rear wheels, normally made from a hard plastic called pvc. They are usually ridden on paved roads with a steep downhill gradient and some corners. Me and some friends stumbled across a video on youtube of people riding and wanted to try it out.

Unfortunately we had some limitations. We did not want to go out and buy a huffy slider because it was too much money and the fun is always in the build. As we began to look around for instructions all of the trikes we saw needed to use a welder which we do not have access to. So I set out to design the cheapest trike I could while using no welding and still making it function perfectly and look good.

Step 1: Find a Bike and Chop It

Picture of Find a Bike and Chop It

This actually was one of the harder parts just finding the right bike to use. I happened to find mine at a garage sale for $3. when selecting a bike the biggest thing is to find one long enough to fit you. After you get your bike the next step is to cut the top tube and the seat tube. Then take the rear axle bolt out of your rear wheel and put some pipe over it. This is where your rear axle will bolt to. I used 1" thick walled aluminum tube that i had laying around.

Step 2: Grinding and Cleaning Up the Cuts

Picture of Grinding and Cleaning Up the Cuts

This is just a cosmetic step. I grinded down all the cuts and applied bondo to make it look like no cuts had been made.

Step 3: Rear Axle Assembly

Picture of Rear Axle Assembly

For my rear axle i used 3/4" square aluminum bar to keep weight down. i used a section 32" long. I then drilled and tapped a hole for my 3/8" rear wheels.

UPDATE: The 3/4" aluminum bar worked fine for me at 170 pounds but anything over that i would recommend using 1".

Step 4: Rear Wheels

Picture of Rear Wheels

For my rear wheels i did not want to go out and buy green machine wheels and we had 6" PVC sewer pipe we used for snowboarding laying around. So i decided to go with a six inch rear wheel. For some reason its hard to find six inch wheels but i ended finding some on the only problem was the PVC was 6" outer diameter not inside. so to compensate i trimed off part of the wheel using a little jig i made for the table saw. after they were trimmed i just hammered them into place.

Step 5: Attaching the Rear Axle

Picture of Attaching the Rear Axle

For attaching my rear axle i replaced where the rear wheel bolted on with a piece of aluminum pipe. the pipe was bolted in using the existing rear wheel holes. the axle was then bolted to that pipe using U bolts.

Step 6: Paint and Your Done

Picture of Paint and Your Done

Now after a few coats of primer and some paint your ready to rock.

You may have noticed i did not mention the seat. The seat seems to be the hardest thing to find. I used a seat from an old pedal go kart, but I've heard of people using anything from tractor seats to office chairs to stadium seats.

SEAT UPDATE: I have found that seats from school chairs work very well. i sourced my new seat from an old life guard tower that was being thrown out.


hailfire73 (author)2017-05-16

after the build is there extra pieces and is there a place for a motor to be mounted?

Databanks (author)2016-03-29

Damn, nice work and great recycling. The best toys are the ones you scrounged for parts & assembled yourself, huh? Plus 6" PVC is cheap so when you wear those wheels out it's easy to make more with a plain old hacksaw.

Nice thinking for the rear axle, the faster you go, the tighter it fits in. Only suggestion I can make is getting those foot stands you can get for the front wheel - somewhere to put your feet to avoid gravel rash

JacobT85 (author)Databanks2017-02-18

Just use pegs they r from Bmx bikes they r meant to like grind on a bike and also other stuff but anyways if u search pegs for bike in goggle u will see u jus add them ok to the bolts at the front,
Is that what ur looking for?
(: (: (: (: (:

kasaasrarg (author)2015-12-19

Can you add some photos from the underside of the Trike, beacouse from the Desctipton I don´t really unerstand the mounting of the axel and thue wood to the bike ???

It would be really nice if you helped me pls !!

Thank you in advance
TrentonRiley (author)2015-12-01

can I get a list of materials plz? and it is very cool.

guitarshredder19 (author)2015-08-22

I've been to 3 different hardware stores and haven't been able to find the bar for the rear wheels anywhere. any suggestions..?

I actually ordered mine off of eBay actually. Getting it at a hardware store might be a little hard because it isn't a common item. Any local metal suppliers should have it in stock otherwise you can always order from speedy metals.

OmarK (author)2014-08-18

nice work, nearly finished my own, just wondering what size U bolts you used and if they held strong ?


alecdisco (author)OmarK2014-10-30

it doesn't really matter i am building my own and as long as your axel fits through and its not too sloppy you should be abel to get away with it

savageeuge (author)2014-05-29

you could turn that into one of those cooler on wheels. Bolt the frame to the bottom of the cooler and an electric motor. And your off to the beach

dpropst (author)2014-04-24

Could I get a full list of materials for what you need please

BikeHacker (author)2014-02-13


DR0PH3AD (author)2013-09-26

Great job!

Editmefree (author)2013-08-04

nice, i cant wait to make one myself

kingpudge (author)2013-07-16

how did you chop the bars off

bozboards (author)2013-07-11

Hod did you "chop" the top bar off?

jacob1229 (author)2013-05-24

How did you connect the seat to the frame?

algviper (author)jacob12292013-05-24

I bolted a piece of wood to the frame and the seat to that piece of wood.

conor766 (author)2013-05-16

Can you please show how you put the back bar on. The bit under the seat.

Jednelson99 (author)2013-04-29

Can you explain how to make the rear axel better

algviper (author)Jednelson992013-05-01

i updated the axle sections let me know if you have any questions.

sdela cruz1 (author)2013-04-18

and im having trouble with the rear axel. i dont really understand how to make it

algviper (author)sdela cruz12013-05-01

My rear axle was built with what I had laying around and what fit my bike so there will be some variation with what works for yours. the way i made it was, i used a 1" solid aluminum bar for the rear axle. i then drilled center holes on each end and tapped them to take a 3/8" bolt. for the attachment to the bike i bolted a piece of pipe where the wheel went and attached the axle to that using U bolts.

sdela cruz1 (author)2013-04-18

I am planning on making a drift trike :D.Do you have a full list of parts you could tell me? like sizes and stuff of everything also. Thank you

Dr Qui (author)2013-02-13

To be road legal you require brakes, you cut off the V brake mounts, why do such a stupid thing? v brakes stop you much better than calipers. A drift trike falls into the same regulations a a bike and requires both brakes and reflectors to be allowed on public roads. Don't be surprised if you get told to get this off the road.

algviper (author)Dr Qui2013-02-13

Not stupid at all actually with very little weight on the front wheel when brakes are applied the wheel just skids making you lose control. As for legality where we ride you just need to be able to stop within 30 with from a speed of 15 mph which is easily obtained using your feet and we use reflectors front and rear so we are good.

northcalgreens (author)2012-10-21

I wonder if utilizing a girls bike wouldnt work better
No need to cut the top tube only part of the down tube .looks like it could use a set of pegs in tye front and a weed eater engine on thw front wheel, i like the idea of having a pnumatic wheel in back to lock the sewer pipe on

algviper (author)northcalgreens2013-02-13

The latest version of our plans actually use a girls bike frame. The ones we use have mountain bike width frames but still 20" wheels which makes them very sturdy.

Zeaky2 (author)2012-11-10

How long is the axle?

algviper (author)Zeaky22013-02-13

the axle is 30"

mi1ez (author)2012-10-21

would be even more awesome with a unicycle wheel for pedalling!

Dr Qui (author)mi1ez2013-02-13

Unicycle wheels have no freewheel in the hub, when the speed would get up you would have to pedal rotating like crazy cutting the shins and backs of your legs off.
You can use the front wheel from an old green machine like I did on my build, no Fred Flintstone shinanigins when starting of at the top of the hills or having to kick start and then drop into your seat.

FatApple (author)2013-01-03

What type of Bikes would you reccomend using. BMX, Mountain Bikes or other.

Dr Qui (author)FatApple2013-02-13

BMX would probably be best, most people use 20" wheels though some guys like a larger mountain bike wheel, check the many many facebook groups for pictures of trikes, you wont see any like this one though, you will see allot of highly engineered trikes, many wheels with disc brakes and even trike with minti moto forks for serious braking power and in some cases full wishbone suspension, check out my trike post, nothing to glamorous other than a pedal wheel from a green machine, but i can get it to stop when needed

AwesomePossum50 (author)2012-09-19

Are there any stores that sell wheels? And where do you get the other parts like the aluminum pipe, PVC, and rear axle?

jgraznak (author)AwesomePossum502012-10-22

You can usually find dead lawnmowers at garage sales for less than you would pay for the wheels retail. They might even have some parts you use elsewhere. It is usually the deck that rusts out first and kills cheap mowers anyway.

Most hardware stores sell wheels for push mowers which would work, harbor freight would also have hand truck wheels too. If you can find inflatable wheels about the right size you could also let them down some and inflate them with the pipe on to hold them together

algviper (author)AwesomePossum502012-09-19

You get the wheels based on your pvc size we had some 6" pvc laying around. We found our wheels online but farm and fleet has some. The aluminum pipe was extra I had laying around but you could probly get it at home depot. The rear axle I got from ebay.

darkmickey420 (author)2012-10-21

heck ya we put office chairs on lawn mowers motoer powerd trikes go carts u

toad (author)2012-10-21

pegs, you need pegs on the front wheel for somewhere to put your feet

john3347 (author)2012-10-21

You didn't cut the down tube. The down tube runs from the head tube to the bottom bracket (where the pedals originally were mounted). You removed the top tube and the seat tube, not the down tube.

To those who ask how you make this thing go: He said it was a "drift trike". This is another way to describe a coaster trike. You can only coast downhill. You don't want to find too much of a hill for this one tho because it has no brakes.

fretted (author)2012-10-20

Ok i'm lost how do you ride this thing ?

meatchris (author)2012-10-21

I dunno bro, doesn't look to strong.

How about adding a length of metal from the steerer tube to the chainstays to get some triangle super-strength action going on?

If you can't weld, I reckon you could bolt it pretty easily.

Chuck some pegs on the front wheel too.

woodstockbirdy (author)2012-10-16

No breaks?

algviper (author)2012-10-16

Yes it is bondo filler

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